Archive for the ‘Senior Statistics’ category

Senior Services Coalition: Williamsburg, Virginia

November 11, 2009

Now that I need to be aware of what services and resources are available to me in my community, I watch the newspaper announcements for special meetings. 

One day, I noticed that a group, Senior Services Coalition of Greater Williamsburg, was having their quarterly meeting the next week.  Curious about the ‘coalition’ aspect, I made a mental note to attend.  I wondered if a friend who was on a medical leave from her job would be interested, also……she was.

So, on October 23, 2009, we made our ways to the United Methodist Church for a 2 PM meeting.

We were met by a vibrant group of people who were excited to see more interest from the community.  We were invited to participate in any way we could to help study issues, set plans of action, and to implement those plans in our community……and we hadn’t even attended the meeting yet!!!

The mission of the coalition is “to promote the independence of seniors, Coalition members will collaborate to build, integrate, sustain and support a comprehensive senior services system……to promote a healthier and safer community for seniors.”

In order to realize this mission, the Coalition, in collaboration with other organizations who offer specialized services for the Senior population, generated a Williamsburg Community Action Plan on Aging (CAPOA): 2010-2020.  The CAPOA identified 4 Issues (Priority Areas):

1.  Awareness and Access to Resources

2.  Vulnerable Seniors

3.  Housing and Neighborhood Support

4.  Seniors as a Resource

Committees were established in a previous meeting with their initial meetings being held prior to the October General Meeting.  Committee reports were given at this meeting, which in every case, indicated that besides identifying the goals to be achieved, not much more has been done at this time.  An Implementation Committee has the task of overseeing progress within and among the Issue Committees.  Implementation will also answer the question:  How do we bring this to LIFE??

My friend and I left with an open mind of expectation.  I knew that I needed to do a lot of research so I would have a better understanding of the PURPOSE of this Coalition and its place in our Greater Williamsburg Senior Community. 

The speaker at the meeting was Julie Ulrich, Community Planner, with Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA), in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The information Julie presented was rich and voluminous.  I knew I had to learn MORE.  After the meeting adjourned, I asked Julie if I could visit her in Charlottesville in order to learn more about how they were implementing their plans in that area.  Another blog post will report more on JABA.

Stay tuned and give me some feedback, comments about what you have learned in your area, what you are doing at this crossroads in your life.

Researching blog subjects/niches

November 11, 2009

When I became cautiously active in starting a blog, I spent some time evaluating different subjects I could cover.  Confused and disappointed, eventually, I took the sound advice of Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett in their valuable book, “ProBlogger”:  “start by identifying (my) own interests, passions, and energy levels for topics.” (pg 18)

I realized that two subjects in particular are special and of value to me. Each would have audiences who would be interested in good content.  The first would be about the evolving life reality for all Aging people (Seniors). The second would be about Country Music Living Legend, George Strait.

So….that done, I began in earnest prepping myself for this new era in my life.

Living as a Senior: Williamsburg, VA

November 11, 2009

There is a new world awaiting me as a Senior.  For the years between 55 and 65, I chose to bury my head in other things so I didn’t have to think too much about being 65 and older.  I believe that I truly thought I wouldn’t live long enough to experience this (frequent, scary headaches since I was young, high cholesterol, high blood pressure – and I refuse to take ‘meds’ in spite of dire warnings about strokes and such). 

It wasn’t until I shut down a long career as a Realtor, a couple friends moved states away, and some other friends were learning new skills, were being active in volunteering, special interests, and LifeLong Learning groups, that I began to seriously think of what I really wanted to do.  My situation also requires that I earn some money to help with overhead!!

After studying and trying a few different job options, I began a research project on ME.  I asked myself, “What have I not had the opportunity to do that I really want to do and could possibly earn an income from it?

And…..could I do this on my own time and schedule?  Also….it can’t involve undue hardship on my body, but would provide contact with the public and result in a service that will have positive impact on others and myself.

Well……wandering through a Barnes and Noble’s store one day with my Spiritual Companion, I prayed silently, “Lord, help me find my passion and my talent.”  Suddenly, before me on an end-piece display was a selection of books on the subject of internet based careers.  My eyes went directly to a book titled “ProBlogger” by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett.  The subtitle sold it to me!!!:  “Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income.”

I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I could actually write and be instantly published and have an opportunity to not only positively impact thousands of people, but help myself in so many ways.

Oh, boy…..I thought, at least a thousand times as I read my way through the book…..I could NEVER learn how to do ALL the recommended things necessary to be extremely successful.  But, then, I thought, “What if I earned only about $500 a month for each of two blogs?  That would mean I wouldn’t have to work a part-time job that brutalizes my aging legs and body for a pittance wage and gives me no satisfaction in other ways.  Also, with doing research, interviewing people, attending various meetings, tracking current events and then writing my posts would be teaching me new skills along with what I already know.  After all, I have always wanted to produce valuable works of the written word…..here is my big chance!

So……I began a fantastic voyage the first week of November 2009 by setting up two blogs.  Hello my new life living as a Senior in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Hello world!

October 23, 2009

In 2009, I reached an age I thought at times through the years that I would never see:  65.  What a surprise I found…..and, more than a few SHOCKS!!  My head spins.

I am not prepared in so many ways for this new set of landscapes.  And, listening to, or reading about, many others my age, I am not alone.

Many things are not easy.  There are numerous challenges.  The world view is different from this new perspective I’m experiencing.

My place in the world has dramatically changed.  And so must I.

I find there are different choices.  There are opportunities for growth and learning….I just have to find them and see how they fit for me.

I find there are people who are working to change the world I’m in so that more of my needs are met so that I may be able to live a safer, healthier, and more robust life in these later years.

I am also learning that I can be an active participant, and a voice, in this mechanism of changing the community, health care resources, and other environments that impact the rapidly growing older-American population.

Through use of the internet, I can, with a specialized periodical, blend in one source, information from service and resource providers with the organizational efforts of agents of change and with the views being experienced in ‘real time’ by the consumers:  the older-American.

I can give VOICE to myself and to my fellow travellers in this new world.  There are many new scenes in this new and exciting landscape to be discovered and realized, to be learned and to be overcome, to be normalized, to be welcomed, some to be ignored or changed, others to be taught, shared, embraced.

I am still a little fearful of those things I cannot control, but I am learning, daily, that there are many things I CAN control, or to find someone who can HELP me. 

Walk along with me.  Share your stories and information.  May we all benefit by what we all are experiencing so we can continue to improve this fascinating new world of senior scenes open to us.